Wednesday, June 23, 2010

chiming tones from the basement

I'm starting to explore pneumatic networks in hospitals around the world. So far I have come across systems mainly in American hospitals ...

Sara Wykes writes that Stanford Hospital has four miles of pipes, 124 stations, 141 transfer units, 99 inter-zone connectors and 29 blowers. This is a network that makes up to 7,000 transactions a day! Some locations such as the operating theatres have direct lines that "guarantee them a straight shot to the lab". My interest in the sounds of the system was piqued when I read that the system had three dozen different types of chiming tones to alert employees to the arrival of containers.

Sam Samuels explores the pneumatic tubes at the
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where he visits the thunderously loud diverter room, deep in the lower level of the hospital. This is a place where few people visit, the system being designed to run by itself. He describes how the canisters can be watched on a computer, as they "wend their way across a schematic diagram of the whole system" (a fantastic typo!).

Photo by Rex Bavousett via Faculty and Staff News, University of Iowa

No comments:

Post a Comment